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Jan

Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

Rochester, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

508
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 179 reviews
  • 392 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 172 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
68

  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3438)
    Performance
    (2443)
    Story
    (2448)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "Powerfully told story... but a warning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A woven tapestry tale with the bawdy, tender, joyous and horrific. He opens the slums of London and the prisioner deportations to Tasmania to our view. You learn history in passing but more important meet characters so complex, that I felt I knew them... almost as friends who shared what they had learned from life. It is a hard book to put down, but does include a great deal of profanity, whores, multiple graphic sexual events and violence. With all the good in it, I still strongly wouldn't recommend for a teen reader or tender spirited soul.

    37 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • A Distant Eden: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lloyd Tackitt
    • Narrated By Michael Hacker
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (65)

    December 2012, a massive solar storm knocks out the power grid. Three hundred million Americans are suddenly faced with a survival situation. They have no water, electricity or fuel. Food rapidly disappears from the store shelves, not to be replaced. Only three percent will survive. Those three percent will have much in common. What does it take to be one of them?

    Sullivan says: "Prepper training parable"
    "EOTWAWKI or prepper fans will like..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are lots of books coming out in this genre lately and quite a few haven't been worth the time to listen... This one although the writing style isn't the best... was well worth my time and $. It follows a family who is scattered around the country, but has a prepper dad who they all thought was crazy.

    There are some very creative and new to me solutions for EOTWAWKI problems. There is a lot of teaching from father to children, allowing us to learn his prepper ideas, theories and beliefs while reading. This is not a classic everyone would love to read like "Alas Babylon" or "One Second After." It doesn't include model numbers like the "Patriots" series. Those living in Texas would particularly like this book. There are no zombies or science fiction. Lots of violence, clean language, nice Christian family making hard choices... it got better as went along. A few hard to believe passages...

    It is a part of a series, but this is stand alone if desired. The second book presents entirely different ideas and theories for a son traveling cross country alone. It was also well worth the read. At this writing the 3rd isn't out yet or I would be reading it now. Narrator was irritating at first with multiple accents really grating on my nerves, but he seemed to relax or do better as the book progressed... at least I didn't notice as much. I will probably read again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
    • Narrated By Oliva Wilde
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    A Path Appears is even more ambitious in scale: nothing less than a sweeping tapestry of people who are making the world a better place and a guide to the ways that we can do the same - whether with a donation of $5 or $5 million, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses.

    Jan says: "Enlightening Read for Wise Givers (why & how)"
    "Enlightening Read for Wise Givers (why & how)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me a while to get hooked into this book... perhaps because the many interesting accounts from all over the world seemed tangential and I had trouble figuring out what exactly I was suppose to be learning. After a bit, I was enjoying the wide ranging accounts so much... I didn't care about the message anymore.

    The book presents numerous problems going on in the world... the intervention being made... what happened & why it succeeded, failed or made things worse. How does receiving effect the receiver? I honestly was surprised by the politics, marketing, psychology and complexities of funding, giving and making what you give count. Also how difficult it is to decide if what you have given is being used wisely. It is not always what you expect.

    Many of the accounts show how just a "little bit of hope" changes lives, how one person can make a major difference in the life of others. It also explores the "giver" what happens when they give, the chemistry and psychology involved. Why we choose to give or not... and to whom. I loved the empowerment and joy obtained by a group of school children in Uganda who to donated $ to a charity in the US.

    In the end, the stories are tied together and we are urged to help transform lives and create opportunity... but by then you have been free to draw your own conclusions. Mine didn't always match the authors, but the process was still stimulating. The narration is good, was well worth the credit and my time to read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1447)
    Performance
    (1325)
    Story
    (1338)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
    "Expected a $3.99 filler book - got new favorite!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Beautiful writing, beautiful narration and beautiful story. It made me want to go to the Thula Thula Game Preserve in Zululand, South Africa and pay homage. Both young and old will enjoy watching as Lawrence forms friendship bonds with a breeding herd of creative, determined and traumatized wild elephants... and then learns to "hear" and understand them. Got loads of yard work done... cause I didn't want to stop listening. Already added "The Last Rhinos" to my wish list. I want more :).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Blood-Red Sun: Under the Blood-Red Sun, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Graham Salisbury
    • Narrated By Greg Watanabe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Tomi was born in Hawaii. His grandfather and parents were born in Japan, and came to America to escape poverty. WWII seems far away from him and his friends, who are too busy playing ball on their eighth-grade team, the Rats. But then Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese, and the United States declares war on Japan. Japanese men are rounded up, and Tomi’s father and grandfather are arrested. It’s a terrifying time to be Japanese in America.

    Jan says: "Great younger YA historical fiction"
    "Great younger YA historical fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this ALA notable book when it first came out and loved it. The story starts shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and opens the life of a young Japanese American, Tomikazu and his family living near the harbor. After you "see" his normal life with racing pigeons, baseball, school, deep sea fishing, friends & family... the bombs fall and we then watch as his family is torn apart and he steps up to help. Covering material similar to "The Corner of Bitter & Sweet" and "Tallgrass," this is aimed for a younger audience... I'd guess 6th to 9th grade.

    The book opens slowly and the narrator has a slow "Hawaiian" pace... I was antsy at first, but after the bombs fall and the plot picked up I didn't notice it as much. I'd be tempted to increase the speed if I read again. This would be a good book to listen to with a child... opening topics for discussion like history, war, loss, discrimination, patriotism, fear, courage, change and bullies. These kinda hard topics aren't as much fun as some fiction but still needed for a well rounded education. Older teens/adults would enjoy "Tallgrass."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jeremy Dean
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (298)

    Say you want to start going to the gym or practicing a musical instrument. How long should it take before you stop having to force it and start doing it automatically? The surprising answers are found in Making Habits, Breaking Habits, a leading psychologist’s popular examination of one of the most powerful and underappreciated processes in the brain. Although people like to think that they are in control, the vast majority of human behavior occurs without any decision-making or conscious thought.

    Ria says: "Excellent, in-depth, research supported insight"
    "Kick in the pants for me..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've a few habits I want to go away and a few that I'd like to add. This book held my attention nicely, helped me understand a few things I didn't and gave me a kick in the right direction. It feels like it is well researched, the voice engaging and some interesting supportive examples. It feels like attending a 200 level psychology college class with a good professor. I got it on sale and it was well worth the few bucks I spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Survivor

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1082)
    Performance
    (962)
    Story
    (951)

    Nate Overbay, a former soldier suffering from PTSD and ALS, goes to an 11th-floor bank and climbs out the bathroom window onto the ledge, ready to end it all. But as he’s steeling himself to jump, a crew of gunmen bursts into the bank and begins viciously shooting employees and customers. With nothing to lose, Nate climbs back inside, confronts the robbers, and with his military training, starts taking them out, one by one. The last man standing leaves Nate with a cryptic warning: “He will make you pay in ways you can’t imagine.” Soon enough, Nate learns what this means.

    T.D. says: "Shakes you to your very core."
    "Intense violence, action packed..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Way too violent for my tastes, but plot had me tightly held before it hit, and I did finish it late into the night. I quite enjoyed the story, although it was improbable and I consciously had to accept the over the top premise and... Language is clean, no sexual messiness, writing skills decent. Nice family guy with PTSD versus the Russian mafia to protect his family. Scott Brick always does a great job on narration. My husband would love this... me... way too many images I really hope I will forget.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    Overall
    (894)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (667)

    After a whirlwind romance and a honeymoon in Italy, the innocent young heroine and the dashing Maxim de Winter return to his country estate, Manderley. But the unsettling memory of Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, still lingers within. The timid bride must overcome her husband's oppressive silences and the sullen history of the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, to confront the emotional horrors of the past.

    P. Wade Thompson says: "A Great Listen"
    "She has no name..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You know her inside and out... this nameless opposite of Rebecca. Although considered a suspenseful gothic book, I found it a highly readable character study. This 1938 classic "a study of jealousy" was well worth the listen if just to enjoy the symbolic foreshadowing... I actually want to listen again to catch all the nuances. You are going to spend a lot of time in "her" mind evaluating what others are saying, doing and thinking... it may be very, very boring for some... but kept me listening and thinking. I liked the reader, a few tiny glitches, not really worth fussing about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (989)
    Performance
    (924)
    Story
    (930)

    Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
    "Don't hesitate for a even second... !!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have search for this book on Audible regularly, hoping it would eventually appear - oh my goodness, it was well worth the wait! The book is the much beloved, Pulitzer Prize winning classic we all met in school.

    The only question left is "how is the narration?"
    The answer: Sissy Spacek does as good as I have heard or better!
    Wish I could give this book a 10 star rating.

    26 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bill Quick
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    Three terrorist attacks are launched from freighters against the United States. Only one fully succeeds, but in the blink of an eye all of the country west of the Rocky Mountains is transformed into the technological equivalent of the 18th century - no electricity, no computers, no electronics of anykind, or any of the amenities of modern life that depend on them. This is the story of ordinary and extraordinary people, high and low, who struggle to survive in a mortally wounded nation, as America's enemies within and without circle for the kill.

    Jan says: "An Equal Opportunity Political Disaster"
    "An Equal Opportunity Political Disaster"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not really sure what Bill Quick intended to say in his painful, over-reaching 18 hour novel, which will require an equally long follow-up novel to tie up the loose ends. The message I got was he thinks Hillary Clinton is an idiot and would be a bad president. The EMP over California and nuclear bomb in New Orleans, politics in Washington, race riots, news blackouts, confiscating gold, new currency, no food, invading Mexican troops, Chinese plots and Islamic militants are just the tip of the iceberg. He jumps from character to character, location to location in a way that kept me from bonding with anyone... he also has multiple shady characters which use a great deal of profanity and share liberally their bigotry. If I was a Woman, Black, Hispanic, Democrat, Mormon, Politician, Serviceman... pretty much anyone... I would be offended by this book. The main characters which are the few positively portrayed include a gay male prepper, a teenage genius, a Tea Party and Republican secret group with plot to overthrow president and the inventor of solar panel paint. I am just grateful its over and have no desire to find out what happens.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Forsaking Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (430)
    Story
    (430)

    Morgan Carter has weathered the weeks after the collapse of the nation's power grid, reuniting with his family and ensuring their safety, but his struggle isn't over yet. Carter must focus on survival in an increasingly unstable society - but the challenges he faces are beyond his wildest imagination. Meanwhile, the enclosed quarters of the nearby government-run refugee camp make for an environment where injury, assault and murder are the norm.

    Jan says: "Completes the series nicely... with a 3.5 read"
    "Completes the series nicely... with a 3.5 read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Was glad I went ahead and picked up book #4 in this series, it nicely wound up all the dangling story lines from books 2 and 3... it wasn't a never-ending series after all. Just know you can stop listening after book 1... but if you choose to read 2 you won't have a stopping point until the end of this book. A. American may continue with another book... there is still room in the plot and cast of characters, but the series can be complete here. This is not a series book you can read out of order... it wouldn't make sense at all if you hadn't read the other 3 first.
    Writing skills remain pretty basic and there are more than a few flaws an editor should have caught and cleaned up. However, I like this series and was pleased to be back with the family and friends scattered between the "refugee camp," Sarge's military group and the camp along the river as they harvest food from nature. Occasional strong language and violence... but as always the main characters are the good guys. He lightly covers issues such as sanitation (what happens with no TP and how to make soap), alternate food sources (including how to skin a squirrel), depression post event and formation of extended groups for mutual benefit. If you liked the first one, you will like this one.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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